If you are expecting the arrival of your firstborn child, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything you have to prepare. Not only are material items a stress, such as a cot or clothes, but trying to decide on what type of strategies and routines to adopt as parents are also serious considerations.
Some parents spend ages researching different theories and strategies on how to raise their kids. Trying to decide, and agree on, a discipline strategy can be tough. You don’t even want to consider the fact that your new precious baby could one day do something naughty to anger you, but you need to face the truth.
Remember that discipline is not a bad word. It does not have to be out of anger, or in a negative manner at all. There is such a bad stigma around the word “discipline”, but try to see it as a tool to help mold your child into a respectful and independent little person.
Here are some tips to remember when the day comes to start disciplining.
- Never act out of anger
In order to think effectively and fairly, you need to make sure you remain level-headed. Making decisions out of anger never ends well, and can be very damaging when dealing with a young, impressionable mind. Take a step back, cool down and then deal with the situation.
- Stick to your guns
Nothing can be more confusing for a child than wishy-washy discipline. They will soon learn that they might get away with bad behavior sometimes, and just hope that they won’t be in trouble this time. By following through and remaining constant with discipline, they will get the message and won’t take the chance in future.
- Don’t negotiate
You need to remain the automotive figure, and negotiating with a 2-year-old will not help your cause. As the adult, you know best, and your word should be final. Don’t let your little one think they can manipulate situations to get their way.
- Do not resort to violence
Spanking is a thing of the past, and the past is where it should stay forever. Using violence to sort out naughty behavior can be very damaging. Not only does it kill your child’s self-esteem, but it will show them that violence can be an answer to a problem, which is NOT okay.
- Do what you feel best
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry will have an opinion on how you should raise and discipline your child. Politely turn down the unwanted advice and remember that you know your child best. You will know what your child reacts to best, and how to get through to them.
- Positive reinforcement works
Keep things happy. Encourage good behavior by congratulating your child for doing something good. Let them overhear you talking to another adult, or even a toy, about how proud you are of them. This will encourage them to keep up the good work.
- Help them understand
There is no point just dishing out punishment if your child doesn’t understand what he has done wrong. Taking the time to sit him down and explain why he is in trouble will save you having him repeat the same behavior over and over.
- Be on the same page
It is okay to have good-cop, bad-cop moments, but you and your partner need to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. Having a solid partnership when tackling behavioral problems will ensure consistency, and therefore encourage the correct behavior from both fronts.
- Never bring your child down
If your child is having a particularly bad day, never resort to saying things like “you are so naughty!” or “why can’t you be a better child”. This will lower his self-esteem and he will lose some feeling of self-worth. Often by saying this to your child, you are telling them that naughty behavior is all they are capable of, and this is the mindset they will adopt.
- Do everything with love
No matter how angry you might be, always show your child that you still love them. Don’t let them for one-second doubt that you love them, even in your most frustrated of moments.
As your parenting journey begins, load yourself with all the information you need to ensure you are doing the best for your child. At the end of the day, you are the parents and you know best. Every child is different, and you will be the best judge on how to approach situations and discipline. Just remember to always be loving and keep a cool, calm head.